IDEA Faculty Guide

The IDEA course evaluation process “cycle” consists of four steps, which are mapped out below along with accompanying resources. The guide notes the points at which faculty members are requested to take particular actions.

Step 1: Plan

Successful use of IDEA depends on planning ahead, in part at the program level and in part at the course level. At the program (major/minor) level, departments map out the relationships between the IDEA Student Learning Objectives and each of the courses.

IDEA Student Learning Objectives

[Coming soon: Refreshed Matrix of Courses and IDEA Objectives]

At the course level, you may wish to integrate the IDEA objectives you’ve identified for the course directly into the syllabus. You may also choose to use the more detailed “long form” evaluation, add custom questions, or adjust the weighting of student learning objectives in the Objective Selection Form (OSF).

*ACTION: Identify your “long form” course

At some point during each term you teach in (excluding May and Summer terms), you will receive from the Institutional Research Office a web questionnaire asking you which course you would like to select as your one “long form” course. This is the course in which you will administer the IDEA diagnostic or “long” form, which will provide you with more in-depth information on pedagogy, assignments and other aspects of teaching. To view a list of courses you are currently teaching, and the evaluation status of each (short form, diagnostic form, or exempt) follow this link.

Some possible reasons for opting for the long form include:

  • New course launch
  • Your desire to revise a course
  • Faculty development programming
  • Promotion & tenure review preparation
  • Course review (e.g., GC Core)

Example Learning Outcomes (short) form
Example Diagnostic Feedback (long) form
Note that these are the paper versions, but the questions are identical to the online versions we use.

In addition, we ask the following three GC-specific questions on all evaluations:
[Response scale: 1=Not at all; 2=Somewhat; 3=Quite a bit; 4=Very much; N/A]

  1. To what extent did the instructor relate the GC core values to the subject matter?
  2. To what extent was the instructor’s commitment to the GC core values evident throughout the course?
  3. To what extent did this course contribute to your faith development?

Additional options: Add Custom Questions or Adjust your Objective Selection Form (OSF)

Add Custom Questions

The IDEA system supports the addition of custom questions for each course section. Faculty members must add these questions before evaluations open to students. Below is a link to instructions for how to add custom questions:

Adjusting the Objectives Selection Form

Prior to the close of the evaluation administration, you can access the IDEA system online to adjust the objective selection form (OSF) for each of your courses. The fundamental reason for completing the OSF is to identify which of the 12 IDEA objectives are (E)ssential or (I)mportant for your course. The OSF will also ask several contextual questions that impact your results by statistically controlling for factors you are unable to influence. These decisions will impact how your results are calculated.

Default OSF values have been set by the department, but course instructors can adjust outcomes to higher importance than the default. (Instructors cannot reduce the importance of objectives below the default value.) Departments can submit new or changed default OSF information to the IR office, and we will update the IDEA system.

IDEA has published a guide to help you adjust the OSF: How to Complete the OSF

Step 2: Implement

When the evaluation period opens at the end of the term, you and your students will receive emails calling you to action.

*ACTION: Encourage Students

Your students will receive email invitations and multiple reminders until they complete all of their course evaluations. Your encouragement, though, is a major factor in whether they complete evaluations. You can increase your response rates by:

  1. Letting students know that their feedback is important to you.
  2. Placing the course evaluation link directly into your Moodle site to make it easier for students to access their evaluations. Placing this link in Moodle would also facilitate in-class administration if your students have access to iPads or mobile devices (the IDEA form will even work on a smart phone):
  3. Giving extra credit for students who complete the evaluation, note that you may access a course roster with detail on which students have and have not completed the evaluation. See Viewing Student Completion.

Step 3: Review

After the IDEA evaluation period has closed and after the grade submission deadline, you will receive an email notifying you that your results are ready to review. The email you receive will include a PDF with basic results, but we encourage you to access the online system for much more useful reporting.

Here are several IDEA resources to aid you in accessing and interpreting your results:

Step 4: Adjust

Particularly for the course in which you use the diagnostic form, the IDEA results system will include links to a variety of white papers on how you might adjust your course to strengthen student learning. The IDEA Center website also has many resources to support your work with your results. You may wish to visit: